Food for Thought

Hello, sexy reader!

Consider this as your friendly reminder to not only take care of your nutritional diet, but also the brain ‘food’ you take in and digest every day!

For many of us, being extremely conscious of the food that we put into our bodies began with a hype, which slowly transformed into a hobby, and eventually grew into a habit. We don’t only want to look great – we also want to feel it! After stepping into adulthood, we discuss the perfect balance of weightlifting and cardio over a glass of red wine that we justify as a “healthy vehicle for antioxidants.” Not to mention that our green smoothies contain the type of vegetables that we would have violently pushed off our plates as children. We even go the extra step and have passionate opinions on whether one shot of apple cider vinegar a day is a hoax, or if it actually does great things for our digestive tract and general physical wellbeing (it does).

But while we are so painfully aware of every nutritional fact regarding the food we use to fuel our bodies, we tend to forget to monitor what we feed our brains. Our most important organ constantly chews on all the stimuli we take in when we scroll through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or look at other people’s heavily filtered snaps – we lose track of time watching makeup tutorials on YouTube or somehow find ourselves watching a marathon of movie trailers, when we really should be focusing on the stack of reading right in front of us. Since we can take care of our body by choosing to feed it a balanced, healthy diet, we can also take care of our brain; helping to develop our intelligence, knowledge, and the way we interact in social situations, hell, even the way we think.

Some media is just like junk food; it goes down easy and makes you happy for a little while with all its flavour enhanced, greasy glory. But eventually, it will accusingly lie in your stomach like a stone, leaving you feel weirdly dissatisfied, and worse, sneakily clog your arteries over time. It is also highly addictive. We all know the type of media I’m talking about: It’s the quick fix of Facebook likes, happy hormones discharged by cute cat compilations on YouTube, and the sugary sweet temptation of masterfully crafted series that suck you in, although you really, really find them plain stupid. This type of media may spike your happiness curve in the short term, but leave your brain feeling underwhelmed. It helps to be more conscious when selecting the type of content we want to stuff our brains with. Do you really want to watch another episode of Vampire Diaries when you know it turns you into a ball of raw emotions? Do you really need to take that Buzzfeed Quiz to find out which dessert best fits your personality? Or maybe – just maybe – would a TED talk be a better, more fulfilling pastime? Think of it as choosing whole-wheat bread over white bread; you’re still eating delicious bread, but it fills you up and makes you feel better in the long run.

Let’s talk about binge eating. The exact criterion that describes this type of disordered eating can also be applied to problematic media consumption. People who participate in binge eating consume “very large quantities (…) over a short period of time, even when they are not hungry.” Hear me out before you get all defensive about last night’s Netflix binge marathon and take a deep breath – we all do it. It is a comfort mechanism! But what comforts you isn’t always what’s best for you.

Sometimes, dear reader, choose kale over cookies for your brain. You’ll feel the difference.

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